Rus­sell School’s spe­cial day


Porirua’s civic ser­vice for Armistice Day was cel­e­brated at Rus­sell School last week. Pupils, par­ents, teach­ers, com­mu­nity mem­bers and in­vited guests – in­clud­ing Porirua RSA rep­re­sen­ta­tives – were wel­comed into the school hall be­cause of the wind and threat of rain.

After a haka from pupils and po­etry read­ings, wreaths were laid at the school’s flag­pole.

Prin­ci­pal Sose An­nan­dale said the close links be­tween the school and Porirua RSA were due to long­time school sec­re­tary Ann Mills, who died re­cently.

‘‘We’re hon­oured to have the civic ser­vice for Porirua at our school,’’ An­nadale said.

‘‘It is im­por­tant for our chil­dren to un­der­stand why we recog­nise this day, be­cause of the sacrifice so many peo­ple made for our free­dom.’’

For­mer RSA pres­i­dent Evan Black said there was cel­e­bra­tion in Wellington on Novem­ber 12, 1918 — New Zealand be­ing a day ahead owing to the date­line – when Prime Min­is­ter Wil­liam Massey read out the news that the war had ended.

‘‘Ev­ery­one sit­ting here in front of me will be pleased to hear school closed for the day.’’

Black noted that the num­ber of New Zealan­ders based over­seas at the war’s end was 52,000, close to Porirua’s pop­u­la­tion to­day.

Colour­ful: An ex­am­ple of Rus­sell School pupils’ work, hang­ing in the school hall.

Wel­come: Fay Nafa­tali greets guests into Rus­sell School’s hall.

Mourn­ful: Colin Simp­son plays The Last Post.

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